The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released names of 63 match officials who would officiate at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) slated for January 2020 in Cameroon, with one Nigerian making the list.
The list released on Tuesday consists of 24 referees, 31 assistant referees and eight video assistant referees (VARs) from 36 countries.
Only one of the listed officials was however from Nigeria, Samuel Pwadutakam, and he would work as an assistant referee.
The tournament, which has Nigeria’s Super Eagles as one of the 24 participating teams, would kick off on January 9 and end on February 6. The opening match is between hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.
Speaking on the list of match officials, CAF’s Director of Refereeing, Eddy Maillet, said: “The match officials were selected based on their experience, skills and current form.”
He disclosed that in recent months, the officials were subjected to several aptitude tests through preparation courses and real competitive matches. “This is because only the best will officiate at this extraordinary event.”
The CAF official added that the list of officials has two referees from the CONCACAF, the football governing body of North and Central Americas and the Caribbean. “It is part of our inter-confederation skills exchange programme,” he stated.
Meanwhile, woman referee quartet of Salima Mukasanga (Rwanda), Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) and Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco) is on the list. They were at the 2019 Under-17 AFCON and the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
All the selected match officials will complete their final preparations in Cameroon the week before the opening game. They will be closely monitored before and during the competition by a team of technical specialists and instructors.